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Calgary minor hockey community gets assist after gear theft

Seven-year-old Axton Kohut-Hunt is without his numbered hockey jersey, but he hasn’t missed a practice thanks to the kindness of Calgarians.

Axton’s mom Jennifer Kohut told LiveWire Calgary how he had his gear stolen from the back of his father’s truck after early-morning practice on Sunday.

They were at the Denny’s Restaurant on the corner of 114 Avenue SE and Barlow Trail.

“He and his dad stopped off at a Denny’s after practice,” she said. “After breakfast they were heading to an outdoor rink by COP, and they get there, and ended up realizing the gear had been stolen while they were in having breakfast.”

Kohut said they went back to the restaurant to see if they could obtain security footage, but none of the cameras were facing where the truck had been parked.

Axton plays for the Calgary Crusaders at the first-year novice level, and his jersey was number 19 – the same as Matthew Tkachuk, his favourite Calgary Flames player.

Kohut said the team had a spare jersey, but it doesn’t have a number.

She put photos of the bag and stolen gear on Facebook, and people were quick to get the word out.

“My post to look for the gear and let people know what happened was shared by 400 – 450 people,” she said. “It was pretty humbling when a couple from Edmonton reached out and offered their Oilers-branded hockey gear.”

That offer was declined due to the distance, but Kohut said many other offers were made. A group of people in Auburn Bay passed the hat and raised more than $600 so Axton could get some new hockey gear.

Dan Pilling, co-owner of Raven Hockey, said they heard about Axton’s troubles through social media and offered up two new sticks and some other company swag.

“There was mention that they had lost their prized Raven stick so I just sent her a note and said we wanted to help,” said Pilling.

He described it as a crummy situation, coming on the heels of Minor Hockey Week.

“It seemed like a pretty small gesture to help them out,” he said,

Kohut said she’s been floored by the generosity of everyone, but she’s also hoping that the person who took Axton’s gear realizes what they’ve done and returns it.

“My Facebook plea was for people to keep their eye open for it,” she said. “If they could just drop it back off – really leave it at any rink or gas station.”